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State Workers Demand Hazard Pay

State Employees Association of North Carolina
State Employees Association of North Carolina

The organization that represents state employees is calling on Governor Roy Cooper and the legislature to approve hazard pay for some state workers, and send others home.

The State Employees Association of North Carolina sent a letterto leaders in Raleigh, requesting time-and-a-half pay for employees like correctional officers who can't practice social distancing measures promoted by state Health Secretary Doctor Mandy Cohen. 

And the group's executive director Ardis Watkins says state agencies should spend money on more resources for operations like the Division of Motor Vehicle's customers service line that would allow those workers to telecommute.

"We're creating more of a public health problem by having folks in a call center sitting two feet away from one another in cubicles, therefore not abiding by the social distancing the governor and Secretary Cohen are asking the entire state to do," he said. "Just send them home."

Some mandatory state employees at public universities started receiving time-and-a-half hazard pay on April 1. And some local governments are offering smaller pay boosts during the coronavirus pandemic.

Will Michaels is WUNC's Weekend Host and Reporter.
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